71-Test All Black and 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Piri Weepu has retired from all forms of rugby.
After finishing the Heartland Championship season with Wairarapa Bush this weekend, Weepu made the announcement on social media.
“It’s been a honour and a privilege to have played footy over the years!” Weepu wrote alongside an image of his boots in the changing room.
Weepu made his debut for the All Blacks as a 21-year-old against Wales in 2004 and went onto play 71-Tests before making his final appearance against France in 2013.
He then went on to ply his trade in Europe with London Welsh and Wasps in England, before playing two seasons in France. He returned home in 2017 to link with Wairarapa Bush for the Heartland Championship season.
A highly skilled operator, Weepu had the ability to play either halfback or first five-eighth. His slick distribution skills were complemented by an astute kicking game and calmness under pressure.
Weepu reached cult-like status during the 2011 Rugby World Cup with a couple of standout performances. Due to Dan Carter’s injury, Weepu stepped into the goal-kickers role and landed seven penalty goals in the quarterfinal against Argentina and four in the semifinal against Australia.
He ended his career with 103 Test points, made up of seven tries, 10 conversions and 16 penalties.
The tributes for Weepu have flowed across social media since the announcement was made on October 14.